18 ‘monumental’ tons of ice to take shape for weekend Icestravaganza

Mother Nature may be flirting with some balmy (for winter) temperatures, but organizers of the Quad Cities annual Icestravangaza are proceeding as planned to turn 18 tons of cold, hard ice into works of art for public display this weekend.

The annual event, presented in 2023 by Rubberstamps.net, runs from Friday through Sunday, Jan. 13-15, at the Freight House and LeClaire Park in downtown Davenport. Admission is free.

Last year’s menagerie of icy animals is making way in 2023 for 36,000 pounds of icy sculptures based on monuments according to the Downtown Davenport Partnership (DDP), the event’s host.

Icestravaganza is one of the best ways to get out and enjoy winter in the QC,” DDP Director of Events Jason Gilliland said in a news release. “I’m excited to see how the ice sculptors transform blocks of ice with chainsaws and blow torches into famous monuments – perfect for photos.”

And that’s not all that’s coming for the 2023 event, he said. “You won’t want to miss the new addition this year, the AfterGlow party on Saturday night featuring live ice carvings lit by black light with a light show and music.”

Also this year, festival-goers can once again watch ice carving demonstrations, shop the Freight House during its indoor hours and visit sponsored warming stations.

Attendees can either stroll by on the Freight House boardwalk or check them out from their vehicle in a drive-through display on Beiderbecke Drive in LeClaire Park. 

Organizers recommend that the best time to see and photograph the sculptures is when they’re glowing from dusk to 10 p.m.  Festival goers are encouraged to snap a photo and post on social media using the hashtag #IcestravaganzaQC.

The 2023 Icestravangaza schedule provided by DDP includes:

Friday, Jan. 13:

  • 5 p.m. – Icestravaganza opens.
  • 5-7:30 p.m. – The Family Credit Union warming station offers free hot chocolate and a fire pit (west end of the Freight House).
  • 5-7:30 p.m. – Freight House Farmers Market’s indoor hours.
  • 10 p.m. – Event closes and lights for carvings shut off.

Saturday, Jan. 14:

  • 10 a.m. – Icestravaganza opens.
  • 10 a.m.-6 p.m. – Freight House Farmers Market open.
  •  3-5 p.m. – Metronet live carving demonstration and livestream on DDP’s Facebook page (located at the stage at west end of the Freight House).
  • 3-5 p.m. – The Family Credit Union warming station.
  • 6-8 p.m. – Afterglow Party: live carving demonstrations with black lights, light show and DJ Buddha (west end of the Freight House).
  • 10 p.m. – Event closes.

     Sunday, Jan. 15:
  • 10 a.m. – Icestravaganza opens.
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. – Freight House Farmers Market open.
  • 4-5:30 p.m. – The Family Credit Union warming station.
  • 10 p.m. – Event closes.

Icestravaganza is produced by the DDP, an affiliate of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce. In addition to presenting sponsor Rubberstamps.net, other sponsors are: The Family Credit Union, Travel Iowa, Metronet, MidAmerican Energy, Rhythm City Casino, WHBF, KLJB FOX 18, Townsquare Media, Quad-City Times, Front Street Taproom, City of Davenport, One Step, Inc and Hupp Toyota Lift.

Visit DowntownDavenport.com for more information.

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